This day in history

Today is Monday, Dec. 16, the 350th day of 2019. There are 15 days left in the year.

Birthdays: Civil rights attorney Morris Dees is 83. Actress Joyce Bulifant is 82. Actress Liv Ullmann is 81. CBS news correspondent Lesley Stahl is 78. Actor Ben Cross is 72. ZZ Top singer-guitarist Billy Gibbons is 70. Actor Sam Robards is 58. Actress Krysten Ritter is 38. Actor Theo James is 35. American Authors musician Dave Rublin is 33. Actress Anna Popplewell is 31.

In 1653, Oliver Cromwell became lord protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

In 1773, the Boston Tea Party took place as American colonists boarded a British ship and dumped more than 300 chests of tea into Boston Harbor to protest tea taxes.


In 1905, the entertainment trade publication Variety came out with its first weekly issue.

In 1907, 16 Navy battleships, which came to be known as the ‘‘Great White Fleet,’’ set sail on a 14-month round-the-world voyage to demonstrate American sea power.

In 1944, the World War II Battle of the Bulge began as German forces launched a surprise attack against Allied forces through the Ardennes Forest in Belgium and Luxembourg (the Allies were eventually able to turn the Germans back).

In 1950, President Truman proclaimed a national state of emergency in order to fight ‘‘world conquest by Communist imperialism.’’

In 1960, 134 people were killed when a United Air Lines DC-8 and a TWA Super Constellation collided over New York City.

In 1982, Environmental Protection Agency head Anne M. Gorsuch became the first Cabinet-level officer to be cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to submit documents requested by a congressional committee.

In 1991, the UN General Assembly rescinded its 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism by a vote of 111-25.

In 2000, President-elect George W. Bush selected Colin Powell to become the first African-American secretary of state.


In 2001, after nine weeks of fighting, Afghan militia leaders claimed control of the last mountain bastion of Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda fighters, but bin Laden himself was nowhere to be seen.

In 2009, Iran test-fired a missile capable of hitting Israel and parts of Europe.

In 2014, Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistan city of Peshawar, killing at least 148 people, mostly children.

Last year, with the threat of a partial government shutdown looming, the White House dug in on its demand for $5 billion to build a border wall as congressional Democrats stood firm against it.